Archive for November 2013

“Pumpkin Chucking”

On Sunday November 17th the Society of Physics Students hosted a fundraiser featuring a Tomato Tossin’/Pumpkin Chuckin’ competition.  The goal was to build a trebuchet, which is a kind of counterweight launcher, and to launch various vegetables the furthest.  There were four teams that participated.

The team that was able to launch the vegetables the furthest was declared the winner.  There were two winners, one for each type of vegetable launched. The winners for the pumpkin portion were Tony Losada and Geoff Pietrovito, they threw the pumpkin on average of about 15 yards.  The winners of the tomato portion were Jonathan Hicks and Justin Ruger, they threw tomatoes about 27 yards on average.  Every catapult successfully launched their vegetables forward most of the time.

Team #1 Jonathan Hicks and Justin Ruger

Team #1 Jonathan Hicks and Justin Ruger

Team #2 was Justin Denno, Rob Ryan, Caroline McElhenny and Tony Harris

Team #2 Justin Denno, Rob Ryan, Caroline McElhenny and Tony Harris

Team #4 Jordan Thomas

Team #4 Jordan Thomas.









Team #3 Tony Losada and Geoff Pietrovito

Team #3 Tony Losada and Geoff Pietrovito


CNU Hosts ACM Programming Contest

CNU Team Members: Rachel Wolf, Jesse Harrison, Michael Palmer, Nicholas McMahon, Dan Ackerman, Stephen Protzman

CNU Team Members: Rachel Wolf, Jesse Harrison, Michael Palmer, Nicholas McMahon, Dan Ackerman, Stephen Protzman

On Saturday, November 2, 2013 Christopher Newport University and teams from The College of William & Mary, Hampton University, University of Richmond, and Virginia State University participated in the worldwide student programming contest called the International Collegiate Programming Context (ICPC), sponsored by the Association for Computing Machinery and IBM.

CNU hosted three teams from William & Mary, Hampton University, University of Richmond, and two from Virginia State University and CNU. Each team had three upperclassmen students and one or two coaches. All students who participate must have a computer science background and are typically selected by their coaches based on their problem solving abilities.

Out of the different world regions, CNU belongs to the North-American Mid-Atlantic region, which encompasses D.C., East Pennsylvania, South New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia. This year our region had 191 student teams from 65 universities competing in 10 sites across the region. CNU is the only site on the Virginia peninsula, and the closest are in Radford Virginia, Washington, D.C. and Durham, NC.

CNU placed fourth and fifth in its site, and 97 and 112 in the region. Top teams in the region will advance to the world contest in June in Ekaterinburg, Russia.

In addition to the teams competing in the contest, CNU had the local organizing group, which consisted of Dr. Roberto Flores (site director), Prof. Aaron Koehl (coach), Ray Koehl (CNU’s PCSE Systems Administrator), Prof. Keith Perkins (local judge), and a group of 12 CNU student volunteers.


Summer 2013 NNS Internship

Chantal Thomas, Cara Villareal, Samantha Gough

Chantal Thomas, Cara Villareal, Samantha Gough

If you attended the Pizza My Mind event this past Thursday on November 7th, you learned about the Newport News Shipbuilding company and their internship and co-op programs. NNS is the largest distributor of nuclear crafts and submarines on the east coast. Every year students from schools all over the country apply for their summer internship program. I got to talk to three of CNU’s own students, who were accepted into the program last summer, about their experience.

Senior, Sammi Gough, and Juniors, Cara Villareal and Chantal Thomas, interned at NNS for their 2013 summer. Sammi worked on the Windows Administration team with physical and virtual servers while Cara worked in the apprentice school with a lot of different departments and specializations within the company. When asked what the work experience was like, they assured me that the transition period was very short due the atmosphere of welcome given by their co-workers. There were opportunities to shadow employees and to tour the facility. Both girls even got to climb to the top of the crane that overlooks the whole facility!

While their experience with NNS was a challenging one it was also very rewarding. Cara said it was a great opportunity to work on people skills, and she enjoyed interacting with fellow interns. Sammi, who had originally learned about the NNS internship program from a Pizza My Mind event the previous year, was offered a job as a systems engineer.

Overall, both girls highly recommended the internship to any prospective applicants as a great way to get some real working experience under your belt. And there are a lot of things to do as an intern, Sammi told me, including night classes, intern mixers, and events that help you learn about the company. You have the ability to stay as busy (or not) as you want.

So, to those considering applying for the internship program at Newport News Shipbuilding here is some advice!

Cara: “Give the application your ‘all’. Don’t go in halfway. Employers will be able to tell who is personally invested in the internship and who is not.”

Sammi: “Get the application done early! The company is fast-paced and very competitive!”